Thursday, May 10, 2007

Support your local Sheriff pt2

The ballsed up police raid at St Agnes Place a few weeks ago reminded me of a couple of conversations I’ve had with folks on the subject of our police and how they’ve been managed, particularly over the last ten years.

Put bluntly, who benefits from our police being made to look like clowns, sometimes dangerous ones?

I don’t and I doubt that many ordinary people do either.

We all need police we can trust and rely on. We want to believe that our police forces are accountable, apolitical and competent.

And incidents like the recent shooting of PC Gray in Shrewsbury are a reminder that ordinary police officers do risk their lives on our behalf every day

But every time there’s a high-profile and well-publicized fuck up like the Forest Gate raid or the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting the profile of the police gets just that little bit worse.

A really good police fuck up has all sorts of consequences...

  • people lose trust
  • the police themselves feel more alienated from the people they are supposedly employed to protect
  • the fuck up itself can be used to press for more spending or tougher laws, regardless of whether the absence of either had any real bearing on the fuck up at all
  • and arguably worst of all, the perceived void in the capabilities of the police may be filled-in with alternative, less accountable, security organisations, some of which are privately owned
As well as periodic, well-publicized fuck ups, the process of widening the gap between police and citizen can also helped along on a daily basis by appointing spare parts like this bloke…

The UK's top chopper

and this bloke…

"Look at this plastic tub very carefully..."

… to senior positions in the police force and putting them on TV and elsewhere to spout crap at every possible opportunity

It’s also not a bad idea to blur the line in public perceptions between the police and the military. So tooling up your police as if they’re on active service in Bosnia and never deploying them in less than platoon-sized strength whenever possible is also a clever move.

Now whether this is a deliberately executed policy or not, this is exactly what is happening to our police; as has happened to most of our other public services and utilities beforehand. You run them like shit and then, directly or indirectly, you use that as an excuse to turn them over to private ownership and control.

The result being that, without realising it, monopolistic powers that we previously only gave to organisations that we could vote out are effectively transferred to organisations that we cannot vote out or hold to account in any meaningful way.

And that is perfect fascism.

(It also happens to be perfect Stalinism which is why some of the more inarticulate, slightly confused red necks who infest the Internet can sometimes be found accusing the most unlikely of organisations and individuals of being ‘Communist’ – banks, NGOs, Republicans, multinationals... I know what you mean guys but you might want to brush-up your terminology a little)

Claiming that there are vested interests out there keen to make our police look like clowns, with a view to ultimately morphing them into something nasty may seem like a bit of a stretch at first. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that we still don’t really know who shot Jean Charles de Menezes. The police took the blame but the operation was riddled with paramilitary and military personnel. And even though the fuck up at Forest Gate was driven by MI5-sourced intelligence, the police were held responsible for that one as well.

Our most accountable and visible of security forces do seem to end up carrying the can for other, murkier outfits.

I’m sure ordinary police are thrilled to bits about that.



Anonymous said...

All very weird. I recall reading reports about bogus senior police officers issuing orders to the local plod.

Here's a link from the wiki link above, to a story in the Independent, headlined, "Up to 200 Italian police 'ran parallel anti-terror force'".

Stef said...

Thanks, I'd missed out on that story completely

Those batty Italians, eh?

They've jumped the gun on that one a little. A couple more years and a couple more bombs to go yet...

Maybe I should dust off my dear old grandpappy's black shirts

Anonymous said...

They had their 7/7 bombing about 25 yrs before us ... I recall reading an Italian newspaper account of one of the anniversaries ... some fink from the central gov was booed and hissed at by the crowd. "Them guys ... " he said, in a sort of, 'gee shucks' manner. What a twat.

The Antagonist said...

I think you're definitely on to something here, Stef.

The fallout from the Crevice Trial and who missed what and when, and the connections to those accused of perpetrating 7/7, have a couple of notable occasions where the police are being fingered for not fingering folk early enough.

One such example with regard to 7/7, is that there is an issue about the efficacy of West Yorkshire Police. The issue was raised by Martin Gilbertson -- a white 'IT expert' who produced all the 'extremist' 'jihadi propaganda' at the Iqra bookshop while working for Martin 'Abdullah' McDaid -- McDaid being an ex-Special Boat Services operative who gave up on all that elitist defending the realm nonsense, converted to Islam, and co-ran the Iqra bookshop in Leeds. Of course there's nothing dodgy about either of of these two characters and neither of them have been arrested.

Gilbertson's tale ran anonymously immediately after 7/7, then again around the first anniversary of 7/7 in July 2006, and again now in the run up to the second anniversary of 7/7 and Gilbertson was promulgating precisely the same story two years down the line via Newsnight earlier this week.

Of course, there's no media management going on here, at all, and you're a conspiraloon if you think any such thing.

Gilbertson has also threatened to sue the July 7th Truth Campaign.

But I digress, so back to the point....

Gilbertson claims that he sent files to West Yorkshire Police for further investigation before 7/7. West Yorkshire Police claim they never received any such thing, much less followed up on it.

So, in summary, I concur with your theory that there is a definite whiff of the police force being set-up as incompetents in a not entirely dissimilar way that Muslims are being set-up to portray "a threat bigger than Hitler."

There is a class war going on and it's not being waged exclusively on Muslims.

Public School (limited) 'intelligence' bods Vs predominantly working class police forces. Discuss.

Stef said...

@anon - have my mentioned that my family comes from that part of Italy? And no, people haven't bought the official story

@ant - I'd forgotten about the 'failings' of West Yorks police - thanks for reminding me

The Antagonist said...

In the same vein, the following excerpt is taken from Scotland on Sunday's 10th July 2005 article, Terror in London:

Another early riser that morning [7th July 2005] was Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. By 7am he was seated in a chauffeur-driven car on the way to Shepherd's Bush, where he had a 7.20 appointment. BBC Radio 4's Today programme wanted to quiz him on whether the capital was prepared for the terror threat in the run up to the Olympics.

Perhaps buoyed by the optimism of the previous day, Sir Ian adopted a bullish tone. "We have been described by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary as the envy of the policing world in relation to counter-terrorism and I am absolutely positive that our ability is there," he declared.


Sir Ian's predecessor Sir John Stevens had declared prior to his departure that it was a matter of "when not if" there would be a massive terrorist attack on London. Was Sir Ian on the verge of turning Sir John's phrase around?

Bridget Dunne said...

Hi Stef

I spotted this story in yesterday's Indy:

Targets 'force police to make ludicrous arrests'

Frontline police called on the Government today to reverse the target-driven culture that has forced them to make "ludicrous" decisions such as arresting a child for throwing cream buns.

Stef said...

Oh yes, very good, I loved that...

"We have got into the situation where everyone is so busy chasing targets and securing ticks in boxes we are on the verge of distancing ourselves from middle England"

Not just Middle England shhurely